It can be a lonely place to be, the fine watchmaking wilderness. Take it from me, when the haute horlogerie drops, you better know your baguette from your bagnolet – or else risk making an utter fool of yourself in very polite society. Our advice? Sign up to the online course History of Watches: 1700 to Now from Christie’s Education. It might just save your (social) life.
OK, so there’s a lot of ground to cover here – things happen over the course of 319 years – but this five-week programme will swiftly take you from pocket watch to wristwatch through custom animation and first-hand accounts from big-name designers and watch historians.
But hey, don’t just take our word for it.
“As I worked on the lectures, I was able to bring together themes and threads in the history of watches,” explains course writer and narrator Dr Andrew Hildreth. “We talk of how the wristwatch has evolved into the form and shape it holds today. And of course, not just the watch itself, but also how the industry and wearers’ preferences have changed over the past century or so.
History of Watches: 1700 to Now online course is currently available in English, with a Mandarin subtitled version coming up in 2020. You can find more information on the course and registration details on the Christie’s Education website.
Christie’s Education online courses are produced with video-based content to provide an immersive experience. With the introduction of two new online programmes in the academic year 2019–2020, the current portfolio will increase to seven courses offered in English, with selected courses also available in Chinese.
Of course this might not be for everybody. Let's be honest, some people just like a big beautiful, expensive thing on their wrist and that's the end of it. However, when watchmaking chat bites hard and you're pressed into a corner, those who haven't boned up on History of Watches: 1700 to Now had better be ready. The revolution is coming.
History of Watches: 1700 to Now starts on September 17